Posted in Lord of the Rings Online

LOTRO and my S.O.S. (Start Over Syndrome)

Patiently waiting for MMOs to get their act together and give me content I want to play isn’t always my strong suit (probably isn’t yours either, eh?). And while I do want to get a new character going — probably a Hobbit LM — when the mini-expansion arrives later this year, that’s months off. The problem is that I’m feeling the deep itch to start a new character and play a bunch of lowbie stuff.

And isn’t that how it usually goes?

This drove me to scratch with a Hobbit Hunter on the Gladden server over the weekend. I don’t have a presence here yet, and I heard that it’s a very welcoming community. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to start fresh on a server without any wardrobe or other helpers.

But it didn’t take long before I felt guilty about it. Not that it wasn’t fun, but that I wasn’t waiting for what I wanted to wait for. I know for a fact that I’ll be rolling up a new character when Update 33 arrives, and I’m fairly sure I’m not going to want TWO lowbie characters dithering about in Eriador by year’s end.

A new LOTRO character is a massive investment in time and effort, and unless I’m just sampling and leaving them like nibbled box chocolates, this sort of approach helps nothing.

It’s just what I struggle with as a diagnosed person with S.O.S. — Start Over Syndrome. It’s sometimes way more enticing to roll up that fresh character, get that heady rush of newness, rapid advancement, pleasant nostalgia, and perhaps trying out something a little different. Heading down a slightly askew road and all that.

This is probably why I loved City of Heroes so much back in the day. That game was just MADE for those suffering with S.O.S. Stories of people with alts in the dozens (if not hundreds) was not uncommon, because probably 80% of the fun in that MMO was coming up with a kooky concept, a distinct uniform, and a name that would make your dad groan if he read it. You could roll and reroll and reroll without feeling even a lick of shame.

But most MMOs aren’t really designed to feed into that mentality. Sure, they’re fine if you want to roll alts (well, for the most part), but they want even more for you to get stuck on a single character for a very long journey.

In any case, it was a fun weekend dalliance with that Hunter, but she’s going to have to go back into the bin of character rejects. It’s not your time yet.

2 thoughts on “LOTRO and my S.O.S. (Start Over Syndrome)

  1. Does it actually register in any quantifiable way, if you spend a few hours levelling up a character then never play them again? Isn’t the whole point to entertain yourself enjoyably for those few hours? What, exactly, would be achieved by waiting to do it on a different character at a later stage rather than doing now and then doing it again then? Aren’t all video game characters equally ephemeral? Do any video game characters have existence outside of the moment you play them?

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